In the past many of my early mentors would deride the work of illustrators and graphic designers as ‘not real artists ‘. They were so wrong.
The art of illustration demands many creative skills. Not only in the handling of materials to produce an acceptable result for a paying client, but also it requires an imagination and storytelling ability which goes way beyond the mere copying of a subject, as so many artists tend to do.
Sometimes, as artists, whatever our style or medium it feels like a struggle to find the light. It gives life and form to our work, but we have to ask more than “where is the light coming from here?”
New Year’s Day 2020 feels like a lifetime ago now. I’m certain we all had plans, big plans, small plans, for the year – for me there were exhibitions, craft fairs, teaching, workshops and shows, with something booked all the way through from the beginning of March till Christmas. I was excited. This was going to be my busiest year ever. I worried whether I would have enough work, frames and mounts, worried about whether tools and lino would arrive in time for the classes. I was worried it might all go well; I was worried it might all go badly –
This is a difficult and trying time for us all, so here is a little breath of Cote d’Azur to cheer you up.
After all the cancellations of my trips during the spring and summer, I decided to take the bull by the horns and try to make it to France in August to see my daughter. Not sure if I was brave or foolhardy, but the journey to Luton and onwards to Nice was extremely challenging, but so worth it.
To give you a little background – I only started painting in 2014 after I closed my business and retired. I ran a successful greetings card publishing business for over 23 years designing, selling and publishing greeting cards in many different languages all over the world. During my career I met artists, illustrators, graphic designers and photographers and this fuelled my interest in art.
The Art Nouveau exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts in Norwich is a small but beautiful exhibition on the mezzanine floor. I visited in August. With plenty of space between exhibits, it’s easy to keep your distance from other visitors.
Hi, my name is Nikki Brown. I recently joined WNAA after a friend of mine who I had lost touch with, Esther Marshall, contacted me having seen a painting of mine on social media. The painting was of Hunstanton lighthouse, the result of a competition I staged on several FB pages during lockdown.
We have all had such different experiences during lockdown. It would be interesting to compare how this has affected our creativity. I don’t know about you, but initially it seemed to suppress my freedom of expression and motivation and I had a real ‘block’. All that extra time and freedom to concentrate on painting and I couldn’t produce anything! Almost in desperation I joined a free online course suggested in Update – Louise Fletcher, ‘Find your Joy’ – and the very simple exercises she suggested bounced me right back to the way I love to work. (More about this course in the next issue of Update.)
click on images to enlarge them
I was asked how I did the cat and robin layered papercut.
For this article I have simplified the stages, number of layers and individual pieces used.
From a master drawing, on A4 (60gm) tracing paper I traced guidelines to create a 10” x 7” image (inclusive of 1/2” bleed all around) to be cut down to a 9” x 6” finished image.
Debbie 60th birthday Oil on board.
I paint because I enjoy it – not because I’m good at it.
This title was paraphrased from a T-shirt I saw about playing a guitar, which I also happen to do with a fairly amateur level of competence. So, I thought the sentiment was particularly relevant to me and my painting.